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Southern Connecticut State Univ.

Prismatic lighting increases security/ reduces energy
at Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Connecticut State University, a division of the Connecticut State University System, experienced dramatic growth in construction during the 1960s and early 1970s. While the new structures were similar in architectural style and appearance, exterior lighting fixtures used to illuminate sidewalks under the various capital construction projects were not consistent and resulted in a variety of fixture types, spacing and footcandle levels.

By the '90s, these fixtures ranged from 25 to 35 years old, and were in need of various levels of repair. Lighting efficiency was poor, and obtaining replacement parts was not cost effective.

During a recent lighting retrofit, University President Michael J. Adanti indicated he wanted a sidewalk fixture that was aesthetically pleasing and would help tie together campus buildings' historical styling. The university selected Holophane Granville® units with fluted housing. The units use 70-watt high pressure sodium lamps and are mounted on 10-foot round tapered aluminum poles.

According to Ron Casarella, Southern Connecticut State University facilities engineer, the Granville units have become the standard fixture for campus sidewalk lighting, both for new and retrofit applications.

"One of the university's primary concerns is safety for all students, faculty, staff and visitors. Many classes and events are scheduled in the evenings, which makes security lighting a high priority, especially in areas near the residence halls," Casarella explained.

During the retrofit, more than 300 Granville fixtures were purchased in several phases. The units were installed by the University's electrical department, part of Facilities Operations, under the guidance of Casarella and electrical supervisor Al Gulianello. An additional 120 Granville series fixtures were installed by electrical contractors as part of new sidewalk projects.

"The Granville units' superior photometrics, and in particular the prismatic light control and uniformity of the type III distribution, direct the illumination onto the sidewalks where it is needed. As a result, very little light in lost in other areas. In addition, the borosilicate glass refractor will not yellow or loose efficiency over long periods of time," Casarella said.

Another goal during the retrofit was to decrease energy consumption. Existing fixtures used lamps of various types and wattages, with most of the lamps 175-watt mercury vapor. Other units utilized 100-watt HPS.

Installing the Granville units with 70-watt HPS lamps allowed the University to reduce its lighting load for campus sidewalk fixtures by almost 20 kilowatts. Annual energy savings realized are approximately 79,000 kilowatt hours, or $4,000.

Holophane's Computer Aided Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was employed to determine lamp wattage and to ensure proper light levels in all areas. Because the project was primarily a retrofit, fixture spacing varies from a minimum of 30 feet to a maximum of 45 feet.

Illumination levels in the retrofit areas also vary due to the range of distances between fixtures. Minimum levels are about 1 footcandle, with the average level about 1.5 footcandles.

"Using the CALA software made it possible to achieve proper light levels in all areas, while allowing the agency to standardize fixture and lamp types," Casarella said.

A particular challenge was how to standardize light poles and base configurations. A special pole base was designed to adapt to several different existing anchor bolt patterns. This solution allows the contractor to stock spare poles of a standard type instead of poles with many different anchor bolt configurations.

While most of the poles installed are 10 feet high, fixtures used around one dormitory were found to be more effective when installed on six-foot poles. Because of their proximity to the building, units mounted on 10-foot poles would have resulted in light shining into resident apartment windows.

As part of the retrofit, all sidewalk lighting circuitry was changed, with fixture control switched form time clocks to lighting contactors controlled by photocells. The photocells sense light levels and automatically turn lighting circuits on and off as required.

"The new light controls save the electrical department many man-hours previously required to re-set time clocks four times each year," Casarella said.

Sidewalk lighting fixtures are illuminated approximately 77 hours each week, although the hours of operation may vary slightly depending upon the season. All sidewalk units remain operational 365 days a year.

The University has developed a regular schedule for cleaning and re-lamping the Granville fixtures based on lamp life and lumen depreciation. The schedule is designed to reduce the hours previously needed to replace lamps as they burned out. Because the Granville fixtures include multi-tap ballasts, the University can stock one type of ballast for replacement, instead of several different wattage units.

"Maintenance of the units is kept to a minimum because of the standardization of lamps, ballasts and poles," Casarella said.
He indicated that since the Granville units were installed, no cases of vandalism involving the fixtures have been reported.. A high incidence of vandalism had occurred with the previous fixtures.

"Feedback from the campus community concerning the new fixtures has been overwhelmingly positive," Casarella concluded. "Evening Division instructors and students in particular are pleased with the increase in security light levels."

Located on a 164-acre campus just a few miles north of New Haven, Southern Connecticut State University is within walking distance of Yale University. The campus includes nearly 40 buildings with 1,536,756 gross square feet of building space. Enrollment is 10,694 full- and part-time students participating in undergraduate and graduate studies programs.


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